Recently I was having a conversation with a potential client and all she could talk about is how she is not losing weight. She mentioned how she tried "this" and "tried" that but nothing worked. The first thing that came to mind is that she must be deficient in one of the three components of a healthy weight. I asked her a few questions about her behavioral habits and sure enough she was extremely deficient in one of the 3 components. Like many of you, her deficiency was with food choices, and like many of you she had the "I know I shouldn't eat certain things but..." attitude. Well I want to take a little time to explain these components of a healthy weight and why you WILL NOT achieve your target weight unless you practice ALL THREE. Part 1 will focus only on food.
I figured I would jump right into this one since unhealthy food and its advertisement is all around us making it difficult to eat healthy on a regular basis. The most basic an commonly referred to aspect of a healthy weight revolves around calories in (eating food) and calories out (exercise & activity). If you don't believe me read my post about weight loss and math. But not only are the numbers you see on the scale dependent on the amount of calories in and out, the type of calories you eat are critical to whether or not you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. So here are some general rules on what/how to eat.
First, if the food has ever had eyes or a mother, it should only constitute about 10-15% of your diet at most. For those of you saying HUH right now, the type of food I am talking about is meat. Hamburgers, bacon, chicken fingers, seafood, steak, turkey sandwhiches, etc. are all considered meat. Although meat is high in protein, iron and b vitamins; meat is also generally higher in saturated fat, sodium and colesterol. Meat also contains zero fiber which can make complete digestion problematic. This can leave traces of meat in your gut for weeks and months.
Plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, lentils) should make up the majority of your diet. What's often misunderstood about plant-based foods is that they contain all the protein you need to live heallthy. Additionally, plant-based foods are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and are generally lower in calories than meats. Unlike meats though, plant-based foods are easily digested and absorbed by the body. This means that no traces are left behind to sit in the gut like meat.
Next, be sure to eat breakfast EVERY day, it really is the most important meal of the day. If you eat a few hours before bed, then sleep 8 hours and wait another hour before eating breakfast, you've gone 10 or more hours without food. Without breakfast your body will go into starvation mode causing you to store unwanted fat. Next, be sure to cleanse. You do this by drinking plenty of water and eating plenty of fiber. If you really want to cleanse, drink two glasses of water as soon as you wake up every day. I'm confident your trips to the "powder room" will increase. As far as fiber, food rich in fiber include bran, oats, brown/black rice, barley, beans, and fruits and veggies.
Next to last, don't eat right before bed if you are trying to lose weight. This is one of the most common mistakes people make. Eating right before bed does not allow calories consumed to be burned making it easier for those calories to stick around. Lastly, you need to be sure that you eliminate certain foods all together. Foods with partially hydrogenated oils, sodas, white bread or pasta, anything with refined sugar, and dairy products should all be removed from your diet. These foods are usually energy dense (meaning plenty of calories) but have little nutrition.
If you start practicing these suggestions you should notice immediate changes with your weight plan. Part 2 of this series will focus solely on weight training. Stay Tuned!